Planning to interview? First and foremost you need to assess the skills, education, experience and aptitude of the candidates for hire.  From there it is important to determine whether the candidate’s interests and abilities match those required for the position as well as those of the company.  It is also critical to evaluate how motivated the candidate is and if he has the personal qualities necessary for the job.  Finally when considering a new hire  you’ll want to create a list of interview questions specific to that job, and ask them!

•How do you persuade a reluctant customer?

•   Describe your most successful sale

•   How would you sell me this pen?

•   How do you stay motivated?

•    What has been your greatest challenge in meeting sales quotas?

•   Describe a typical week in your most recent sales position

•   How do you overcome objections?

•   How do you handle a face-to-face challenge?

For sales I like to ask what’s been their exposure to sales jobs.  If they had parents who were in sales,  relatives,  family or friends.  A lot of times there would be discussion about work around the dinner table or at barbecues, holiday get-togethers, etc. The reality of the job and the industry were likely discussed so the candidate would already have some familiarity with them. He has some idea of what he’s in for and you are aware that he has this added insight.

The same thing holds true for engineers, technology people, etc.  Any past exposure  even peripherally could prove insightful.

Each person interviewing the candidate should have a separate list of questions to ask  but these questions should be consistent among candidate interviews to allow for more accurate comparisons.  Agree on a standard set of questions for each interviewer you may want to include a peer interview. This can help round out a company’s perspective on the candidate.  The employee can take stock of the candidate and report to his boss. Candidates tend to be more at ease with peers, so the employee is likely to get a more objective view of the candidate.  But keep in mind that it’s a two- way street: candidates will likely get a more accurate picture of the company from someone who works there rather than someone presenting only what he wants the candidate to know peer interviews can be especially useful for team-based organizations and can help boost morale  Employees involved in the hiring process generally feel appreciated and that they have more of a stake in the company. They have a vested interest in the new hire’s success, and the new hire, in turn, can start work knowing he has peers who support him.